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March 23, 2001
(Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs)


Ministers discuss key issues with Happy Valley-Goose Bay mayor

Voisey�s Bay, the Trans-Labrador Highway and 5 Wing Goose Bay were among the key issues raised during discussions between three provincial cabinet ministers and Happy Valley-Goose Bay Mayor John Hickey in St. John�s on Wednesday.

"We had a very good meeting with the mayor, and I was encouraged to know that he�s very supportive of the province�s position that it�s important we have a deal with Inco on Voisey�s Bay sooner, rather than later," said Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ernest McLean. "As well, we all agreed on the importance of 5 Wing to the province�s economy, and the importance of enhancing services for the Allies currently training at the base and making it attractive for other possible users."

Trans-Labrador Highway discussions focused on the need to identify an approach to complete Phase III, from Cartwright to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, in a manner that respects environmental and Aboriginal concerns.

"The benefit of the Trans-Labrador Highway will not be fully realized until the connection is made between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Cartwright," Minister McLean said.

"The province remains committed to seeing Phase III completed," said Works Services and Transportation Minister Percy Barrett. "We continue to lobby the federal government for the necessary funding for this project."

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Tom Lush reiterated the province�s support for 5 Wing, and emphasized government�s willingness to work with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay to ensure the continued viability of military flight training in Labrador.

"Government is committed to ensuring that CFB Goose Bay becomes one of the top military flight training facilities found anywhere," said Minister Lush.

Mayor Hickey said he was pleased with the meeting, and reaffirmed his support to the province in ensuring issues of concern to the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay are addressed.

"We have to insist the province receives the maximum benefits from Voisey�s Bay, but we must also realize that the window of opportunity to do a deal with Inco is closing quickly. The province, as far as the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is concerned, has the mandate to do a deal on Voisey�s Bay that�s in the best interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," Mr. Hickey said.

The mayor said he was pleased with the province�s commitment to completing Phase III of the Trans-Labrador Highway, as well as its support for military flight training at 5 Wing.

"The discussions went really well, and I look forward to the continued co-operative working relationship between the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the province," Mr. Hickey said.

Media contact: Bert Pomeroy, Communications, (709) 896-1688 or (709) 896-3099.

2001 03 23                              11:40 a.m.

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